Living

Meet 4 of our Pan Am and Parapan Am Games athletes

Go behind the scenes with Team Canada.

Melanie McCann

Hometown: Mount Carmel, Ont.
Sport: Modern pentathlon
Health advice that’s hardest to follow: “Recovery is key, but because I’m juggling five sports — fencing, swimming, equestrian, running and pistol shooting — I sometimes miss the rest I need.”
Pre-competition ritual: “The night before I eat a big bowl of pasta and pack my big red fencing bag with the items I need for each sport.”
How I celebrate a win: “I buy my coaches a big beer because it truly is a team effort to get a good result.”
Melanie McCann

Jennifer Abel

Hometown: Laval, Que.
Sport: Synchronized diving
Favourite sport to watch (that’s not my own): “Track and field. It’s not really long and the suspense is really nice. It’s only 10 seconds — and in that little moment, everyone is cheering.”
How I celebrate a win: “We have a BBQ at my parents’ place with all of my family — more than 40 people.”
Thoughts on Pachi, the porcupine mascot: “I have a niece who’s 18 months who loves him. It’s amazing because she’s young, but she can still enjoy the Pan Am Games with me.”

Jennifer Abel

Photo, Vincent Graton.

Rosie MacLennan

Hometown: King City, Ont.
Sport: Trampoline
How I calm my nerves: “I have the words ‘As long as I breathe…’ tattooed on me. And at one of my first competitions, my brother reminded me: ‘At the end of the day, you’re just jumping up and down in a shiny spandex suit.’”
Favourite sport to watch (that’s not my own): “I really want to see wakeboarding and waterskiing. I have been waterskiing since before I can remember, and I took up wakeboarding as a teen. It was so much fun – I would always try to do flips but would bail pretty hard. I have never seen live competition but have watched a lot of videos online, I can only imagine the energy of those competitions live.”

Rosie MacLennan

Photo, Alexandre Claude, Courtesy Canadian Olympic Committee.

Morgan Bird

Hometown: Calgary
Sport: Para-swimming
Pre-competition ritual: “I zone out and visualize the race. I’ll also swing my arms and legs to make sure my blood flow is normal, and I listen to ’80s music to get pumped.”
How I calm my nerves: “I focus on what I can control and ignore what I can’t, like my opponents. I also have cue cards with motivational words that I read over.”

Morgan Bird

Photo, Kevin Van Paasan.

Related:
Canada’s top archer on why she loves the sport

How the Olympics inspire us all
Tessa Virtue on her pre-games superstition
A one-on-one with Heather Moyse

 
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